This I Believe
If I had to boil what I believe down to just one word, I could. “What would be the point of writing an essay,” one would wonder. “Why not just say the word?”
What is God? Sooner or later, I believe, everyone gets around to asking, and attempting answering, although I believe it’s impossible to verbalize God in whole.
I grew up like a lot of Americans, picturing God. Sometimes I imagined a huge set of feet resting on a sea of glass in front of a throne. And then, there’s the “FATHER” aspect of God. And then, there’s the ethereal force – the will – of God. And then… .
I had plenty of time to think on God as a child. From Friday Sundown to Saturday Sundown. On the Day of Atonement, when I thought about what it meant to practically be “at one” with God.
Eight days every Fall, while residing in a tent, I was trained to know that no matter where I went or what I did, God would always sustain me. During the Seven Days of Unleavened Bread, I thought about how clean I was, from the inside-out, and relished my practical position of physical sinlessness. That was especially important to me, as I’d just finished The Night To Be Much Remembered, when I believe I felt the angel of death itself as my parents taught me, once again, every year, to let my God also be my way.
Every Pentecost, my faith was bolstered by the spiritual reality of God. Oh, I was a blessed, blessed child, because at Pentecost, every year, Christ was affirmed as my very real hero, one I believe was as much spiritual as he was physical. Every Feast of Trumpets, I yearned to be the one to blow the spiritual trumpet and vowed to be a spiritual soldier at every call, for the rest of my life. When we sang “Onward Christian Soldiers,” I believe I knew that I was connected to all Christian Soldiers.
All of my life identifies God for me. And I know why.
I still think Paul said it best, although I had a hard time accepting Paul. Paul was one of those headstrong romantics, like me. He had a mission. He knew he came second to the mission. But I feel like he betrayed me with his politics. I still believe, though, that he said it best when he said that God was first, and then God created its own image, and then through that image created everything else.
I like the magic that I believe happens when I stand in front of a mirror and think about God creating an image and what that says about my image. But what I like most is why. All thrones. All powers. All things physical. All things spiritual. Everything, created through an image by God for one reason. Reconciliation. What a neat way to learn what I believe, that we all have to look at things in order to reconcile them.
I believe that Paul was created, just like he was, headstrong and romantic to the apex of tragedy, so that his words, which gave me God as no others could, would be passed to me. I believe he was brave and I was blessed.
Someone has changed the Bible, and my new Concordance doesn’t lead me to the scriptural reminders I sometimes seek like it used to. And yet, Paul’s words, Paul’s meaning, Paul’s life, and Paul’s death brought about what I believe is the most practical viewpoint yet, of God in me. Something I couldn’t lose if I tried.
I believe I know reconciliation because I’ve practiced it. Every day I look at something and then look at God within my own mind, which I believe is full and heavy with the talents that God gave me to double, and redouble, for presentation back to God.
I believe I present what I know to that Image of God I have in my own mind. I believe that thing that no longer has feet unless I believe I need to see feet, accepts from me what I know. And then, every time, I am reminded that essentially, everything is God. In that, I believe, is the answer to all conflicts and all ills. In that, I believe, is the logic of reconciliation, which I believe is what every true Christian Soldier answers the call to fight for.
I’ve seen ahead all my life. I believe my foresight comes from the force of God, that flowing, all-knowing, all-powerful, ever-present thing that I believe is the source of my soul and my intellect. So, seeing ahead, please believe me when I say that I believe one day we Christians in this Nation will look at the world of people and know that we Americans are not the chosen ones, but the ones who finally get it… that we’re all chosen, and we all reconcile, to God.
When we as a Nation get that, well then, I believe that will be the greatest reconciliation to date. The Great Turning Back To God.
I believe we all have one, collective question to answer, collectively. I believe until we humble ourselves, we will not collectively ask, nor answer that question. I believe it’s a question which could very well be answered with a sum. I believe the answer to that question, in part, will be the collective amount of others, Christians, Jews, Muslims, and all others who had to wait and put up with our haughtiness while we looked around at our 230 years of revelry before eventually asking, “Where is God in all this?” I believe another part of the answer that we won’t even know to search for until we humble ourselves, is how much love was shared by those, for us, whom were waited on.
I believe once sought, God presents. I just want to make sure that I’ve done my part. I believe, when the time comes and God becomes collectively as convenient to touch as a thought can allow, then we’ll be grateful that God can count better than us, and humbled that we are loved right out of our own sin. I believe, and that belief excites me with utter joy.
This, I believe. God.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.